F.M. (Fenne) Smits MSc
© Sjoerd Hilckmann/MCD

F.M. (Fenne) Smits MSc

PhD student
Place of employment
CMH Utrecht


Fenne Smits has been active at the Brain Research and Innovation Centre of the Ministry of Defence since 2015, where she now works as a PhD student. During her study Psychology and Brain & Cognitive Sciences she learned that her greatest interest lies in the clinical application of neuroscience: how can information about neuroscience help people with neurological and psychological complaints? Fenne has a special interest in techniques that can measure or influence brain activity. She has now pursued this more specifically by conducting research into brain stimulation.

Overview of projects within the BRAIC

At the Brain Research and Innovation Centre, she is researching the effects of brain stimulation on anxiety and aggression-related complaints in military personnel. A mild, non-invasive form of brain stimulation is used: transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS).
Fenne is currently involved in two brain stimulation projects. One project focuses on military personnel who receive treatment for mental complaints ( STIM ). The second project focuses on military personnel without psychological complaints, in which self-control during threat is investigated ( CONTROL ).


  • Smits, F.M., Schutter, D.J.L.G., van Honk, J., & Geuze, E. (2019) Does non-invasive brain stimulation modulate emotional stress reactivity? Soc. Cogn. Affect. Neurosci. https://doi.org/10.1093/scan/nsaa011
  • Smits, F. M., Porcaro, C., Cottone, C., Cancelli, A., Rossini, P. M., & Tecchio, F. (2016). Electroencephalographic fractal dimension in healthy ageing and Alzheimer’s disease. PloS one, 11(2), e0149587.
  • Tecchio, F., Cancelli, A., Cottone, C., Ferrucci, R., Vergari, M., Zito, G., Pasqualetti, P., Filippi, M.M., Ghazaryan, A., Lupoi, D., Smits, F. M., Giordani, A., Migliore, S., Porcaro, C., Salustri, C., Rossini, P.M., & Priori, A. (2015). Brain plasticity effects of neuromodulation against multiple sclerosis fatigue. Frontiers in neurology, 6, 141.